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Do Institutions Own Shares In VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS)?

Daryl Painter

If you want to know who really controls VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS), then you’ll have to look at the makeup of its share registry. Generally speaking, as a company grows, institutions will increase their ownership. Conversely, insiders often decrease their ownership over time. Companies that have been privatized tend to have low insider ownership.

VIVUS is a smaller company with a market capitalization of US$28m, so it may still be flying under the radar of many institutional investors. In the chart below below, we can see that institutional investors have bought into the company. Let’s delve deeper into each type of owner, to discover more about VVUS.

See our latest analysis for VIVUS

NasdaqGS:VVUS Ownership Summary December 25th 18

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About VIVUS?

Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.

As you can see, institutional investors own 8.6% of VIVUS. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. If multiple institutions change their view on a stock at the same time, you could see the share price drop fast. It’s therefore worth looking at VIVUS’s earnings history, below. Of course, the future is what really matters.

NasdaqGS:VVUS Income Statement Export December 25th 18

It would appear that 7.8% of VIVUS shares are controlled by hedge funds. That catches my attention because hedge funds sometimes try to influence management, or bring about changes that will create near term value for shareholders. There is some analyst coverage of the stock, but it could still become more well known, with time.

Insider Ownership Of VIVUS

The definition of company insiders can be subjective, and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

Most consider insider ownership a positive because it can indicate the board is well aligned with other shareholders. However, on some occasions too much power is concentrated within this group.

Shareholders would probably be interested to learn that insiders own shares in VIVUS, Inc.. As individuals, the insiders collectively own US$1.1m worth of the US$28m company. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but I usually like to see higher insider holdings. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.

General Public Ownership

The general public — mostly retail investors — own 79% of VIVUS . This level of ownership gives retail investors the power to sway key policy decisions such as board composition, executive compensation, and the dividend payout ratio.

Next Steps:

It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand VIVUS better, we need to consider many other factors.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow, for free .

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.